A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Meditation Moment in Lent ~ Day 11: Give Up, Take On, Pray '24

February 26, 2024, 2nd Monday in Lent

The Rev. Henri J. Nouwen

When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don't say to yourself "All is lost. I have to start all over again." This is not true. What you have gained you have gained....When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.  
~ Henri Nouwen 1932-1996*

We all have or will have or know people who have those moments in life ~ the loss of someone dearly loved and integral to one's everyday life, a job loss, significant health challenges, or whatever causes one to fall into hopelessness. There is a time and a need to grieve these losses and be surrounded by those who care for us and who give us hope. We need to take the time it takes yet not grieve for the sake of grief. Seeking the help we need when we realize that we have fallen into despair is important and necessary and not a sign of weakness. Life is precious and short; we must live for those who loved us and want us to thrive as they now, in this life, cannot.  We can rejoin the road of this life even if we are limping and bruised. The sun will shine again when we let it.

Dear God of my wounded heart,
       You know the times when it was all I could do to open my eyes and face another day and when I longed to hide myself in the black of night that matched the darkness of my grief. Give me the eyes to see when another is in the merciless grip of heart-felt pain and sorrow and let me be a quiet comforting presence of hope. For today I will give up living in the shadow of yesterday and take on living in the light of today. I pray for the peace to walk down my road, give encouragement to others, and live my life giving thanks for each breath I am given, and in thanksgiving for those no longer here who want my heart to smile again and often. amen.

*A Dutch-born Catholic Priest with a doctorate in Psychology, Henri Nouwen was a prolific writer on the subject of spirituality. He wrestled with clinical depression throughout his life and it informed his abilities for his writing, teaching, and pastoral care. After teaching appointments with The Menninger Clinic, University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Divinity School, he accepted the position of Pastor for a L'Arche Community for the developmentally disabled near Toronto, Canada. His books such as Wounded HealerThe Way of the Heart, and The Return of the Prodigal Son remain widely read and deeply held by people of all faith expressions.

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